Thursday 16 July 2015

'Fugitive' peacock captured by pre-school staff after spending year on the run in north London

A "fugitive" peacock has been returned to its home at London Zoo after evading capture during more than a year on the run in north London.
Only days ago it gave officers the slip, with Camden police admitting on Twitter the bird was "significantly more nimble than most of Team B".
But staff at the Three Acres Community Play Project in Belsize Park this morning spotted it roaming the grounds for the second time in a week - and came up with an inventive ploy by which to capture it.
Ensnared: The peacock was trapped between two football goals using a trail of bread and corn (Picture: Three Acres Community Play Project)

"At 11am when we went out into the main play area it was sitting in one of our flower beds," manager Emma Wiener told the Standard. "We put the football goals in a V-shape and made a little trail of bread and corn - and it followed it in.
"We've managed to do what no one else could. It was just a bit of common sense."
Camden peacock at Three Acres Community Play ProjectFree bird: The peacock spent a year on the loose (Picture: Three Acres Community Play Project)Soon a crack team of zookeepers were at the site to recapture the bird.
"They just made a little gap in the goals, went in and rugby tackled it," said Ms Wiener. "They carried it into a box and off they went."
Ms Wiener admitted the children at the playschool "wished we could have kept it".
Out and about: The peacock snapped in Hampstead last month (Picture: Fifi Russell)"They loved it," she said. "They were calling it Mr Peacock, but the zoo people said it was actually a peafowl.
"I'm sure people will miss it. It's probably been in lots of people's gardens - it's been fed lots.
"It just wanted to be a free bird."
The bird escaped a year ago after someone left an enclosure open at London Zoo. Since then it has frequently been seen in and around Camden, and police have been summoned on a number of occasions to try and trap it - all in vain.
Despite concerns from locals that it could be dangerous, the bird appeared tame and relaxed, and proved itself to be a good flier, swooping up onto roofs and into trees when the mood took it.
London Zoo has been keeping track of its movements and sightings, which took it back into Regent's Park on an almost fortnightly basis - but never close enough for staff to get to it in time.
The bird is now having health checks ahead of its return to the zoo's Snowdon Aviary.